Title

The Deflection of the Gaze: How Lorna Simpson’s Stereo Styles Subverts the Messages of Advertisers

Lead Author Major

History

Format

Oral Presentation

Faculty Mentor Name

Merrill Schleier

Faculty Mentor Department

Visual Arts

Abstract/Artist Statement

Visual artist Lorna Simpson uses her photographic work Stereo Styles (1988) as a commentary on African American women’s representation in the media. She does this by adopting the rhetoric of advertisements and through the use of these methods, subverting its often Eurocentric messages. Lorna Simpson accomplishes this by formatting her picture like an advertisement, and then facing her subject away, therefore not allowing her viewers to objectify the young woman she is portraying. She protects the subject by defending against the viewer’s sight and expectations. This presentation will use formal analysis, historical analysis of African American representation in the media, as well as the artist’s biography to prove this point. I will demonstrate how Simpson identifies stereotypes and clichés of race through her exploration of the model’ hair, so that she may ultimately undermine them.

Location

DeRosa University Center, Room 217

Start Date

21-4-2012 1:00 PM

End Date

21-4-2012 5:00 PM

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Apr 21st, 1:00 PM Apr 21st, 5:00 PM

The Deflection of the Gaze: How Lorna Simpson’s Stereo Styles Subverts the Messages of Advertisers

DeRosa University Center, Room 217

Visual artist Lorna Simpson uses her photographic work Stereo Styles (1988) as a commentary on African American women’s representation in the media. She does this by adopting the rhetoric of advertisements and through the use of these methods, subverting its often Eurocentric messages. Lorna Simpson accomplishes this by formatting her picture like an advertisement, and then facing her subject away, therefore not allowing her viewers to objectify the young woman she is portraying. She protects the subject by defending against the viewer’s sight and expectations. This presentation will use formal analysis, historical analysis of African American representation in the media, as well as the artist’s biography to prove this point. I will demonstrate how Simpson identifies stereotypes and clichés of race through her exploration of the model’ hair, so that she may ultimately undermine them.